Dalai Lama hospitalized with pinched nerve

February 2, 2009 11:02:48 AM PST
The Dalai Lama was taken to a hospital in India's capital for medical tests Monday after experiencing minor pain in his arms that was later diagnosed as a pinched nerve, his spokesman said. The 73-year-old exiled Tibetan spiritual leader has had a number of health problems in recent months that have interrupted his busy schedule of international travel to teach Buddhism and highlight the Tibetan struggle for more freedom under Chinese rule.

"He has come down (to New Delhi) for some checkups after feeling a little discomfort in his arms," said his spokesman Tenzin Takhla.

After conducting tests, doctors at New Delhi's Apollo Hospital said the pain was caused by a pinched nerve, he said.

The Dalai Lama was scheduled leave the hospital Monday evening and to return Tuesday to Dharmsala, the northern Indian town where he has his headquarters, Takhla said.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since fleeing Tibet following a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule over the Himalayan region.

In October, he had surgery to remove gallstones, while in August he was admitted to a Mumbai hospital and underwent tests for abdominal discomfort. His aides said then he was in good condition, but doctors advised him to cancel a planned trip to Europe and rest, saying he was suffering from exhaustion.

Following March protests in Tibet, China has stepped up its campaign to vilify the Dalai Lama, accusing him of leading a campaign to split Tibet from the rest of the country.

The Dalai Lama has denied the allegations, saying he is only seeking greater autonomy for the region to protect its unique Buddhist culture.

CLICK HERE to follow Action News on Twitter

CLICK HERE to get Action News on your website

CLICK HERE to find Action News on Facebook

Click here to get the latest Philadelphia news and headlines from across the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.